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Memento Luxe Ink Review

Reported by Angela Butler-Carter

Disclosure: This site participates in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

Of all the crafty supplies that I’ve acquired and hoarded over the years, there is one that I never get rid of: inks. I love them. They come in so many different shapes, colors, and formulations. There are pigment, distress, hybrid, shadow, and archival inks, just to name a few. Over the past seven plus years of crafting, I feel like I’ve tried them all.

After all that trial (and some error), I have to say that Tsukineko’s Memento brand inks are in general among some of my top performance inks. They provide a lasting and crisp inking to almost any stamp, and I find that their inks resist fading as some other inks tend to do.

So when I got the chance to write the Memento Luxe Ink review for Craft Critique, I just had to find out if these inks lived up to their brand name. I couldn’t wait to try them, and share my results!

AllMiniCardsAlwaysAngella

This pigment ink is designed for mixed media applications. It can be applied to any porous surface, according to Tsukineko, and is permanent when heat set on fabric. It is available in a 24 color palette of full-sized ink pads.

To really test out new inks, I like to make mini cards. They are super adorable, compact, quick, and easy. I also like to make one layer cards so I can see how inks lay on top of each other. These inks stamped perfectly and the colors were so saturated with just one inking and impression of the stamp.

OHMGEEMiniCardAlwaysAngella

This beautiful color is Morocco. It’s a lovely orange although it’s coming off more as coral in the pictures. It was stamped only once with this beautiful color payoff. The gorgeous gray I used is called Gray Flannel.  I love the gray so much because it is a true gray. I’ve purchased other inks in the past where the gray stamped as black, but not so in this case.

ThisPackageMiniCardAlwaysAngella
YouareLovedMiniCardAlwaysAngella

The Pear Tart and Bahama Blue are so vivid in color I just love the contrast next to the rich black ink of the sentiment.

I did use a white ink on this card called Wedding Dress. I stamped it on top of the Gray Flannel. It did not show up very well at all (you can just barely see it in the gray circle on the bottom right). I also tried it on darker card stock and I found it to be alright on that surface. It gave more of a ghosting affect rather than a true white. However, true white inks are very hard to come by so this isn’t a surprising result.

Pros:

  • Beautiful ink saturation with a single impression.
  • Layers beautifully with other pigment inks.
  • Crisp impressions.

Cons:

  • You will need to tap into your ink pad a bit heavily to get the ink to really cover your stamp.
  • The white ink provided only a bit of ghosting rather than a true white image.

Memento Luxe inks have an MSRP of $6.99 and are available at Amazon.com.

Review | Tsukineko All Purpose Ink

Reported by Amanda Marks

Disclosure: This site participates in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

I was extremely excited when I was asked to review Tsukineko All Purpose Ink. I am a painter and love doing pen & ink and ink washes. It’s always great to try out new inks to see what they can do!

This is how the Tsukineko website describes their All Purpose Ink:

Due to its blendability, washability and versatility, this quick-drying craft ink has become a favorite among fabric artists. And because it’s water-based and non-toxic, All-Purpose Ink is fun for artists of all ages. Use it on wood, paper, leather and other porous surfaces too. All-Purpose Ink must be heat set on fabric for permanence. Heat set between color applications to prevent bleeding. Or layer colors to achieve a blended ‘watercolor’ effect.

Ink Set Up

I wanted to do a monochromatic ink painting of the Savannah riverfront. I was asked to produce a piece of artwork of the riverfront, in hopes of starting a painting or drawing workshop. I felt this project would give me an ample opportunity to see exactly what these inks could do.

Picture 2 River Street
The Savannah Riverfront
Picture 3 Sketch of Riverfront

As a base, I drew the Riverfront with a very light colored pencil onto Canson 140lb Watercolor Paper.

Working with the Truffle, I started with a light ink wash to base items in and gradually worked my way up the gradation scale to a full pigmented ink. I found the ink highly pigmented, and it allowed for a very nice ink wash.

Painting of River Street

As for the picture itself it was given unfinished to a guest of the hotel I am working at. The guest did not care that it wasn’t finished and wanted it anyway. After much persuasion, I gave in and gave it to the guest despite it being unfinished.

Pros:

• Highly pigmented.
• Vibrant color, does not fade even when water is added.
• Not gritty or sandy, something that can happen with inks of this type.
• Works well on watercolor paper and Bristol Board.
• Non-toxic and Acid Free

Cons:

• Container design: I wish there was a dropper. I personally like the dropper because it easier to do washes if you can mix the gradations ahead of time as opposed to mixing them on the palette with the brush.
• Size: I also wish these inks would come in a bigger size. The current size (0.5 fl. oz) in my opinion is more of a sample than a standard ink size for a pen and ink artist.

Tsukineko All Purpose Inks are available in 45 colors and can be purchased at Amazon.com for $8-$9 each.

10 Essential Tools for Rubber Stamping

Reported by Cassandra Darwin

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the Amazon.com affiliate program.

I have been stamping for more than 15 years and while I have seen techniques and trends come and go, there are a few basic tools that every stamper needs to have.  I’ll start the list with six “must haves” and work down to the “nice-to-have” tools.

Stamps: There are three basic kinds of stamps available today: wood mounted rubber stamps, cling rubber stamps, and clear stamps. It doesn’t matter what kind you have, but make sure that you have a good variety that includes sentiments and images that you will want to use more than once.

Ink: There are more types of ink than I have time to discuss, but I’ll stick with two basics – dye and pigment ink. I like to have both types on hand because they each serve their own purpose. Dye inks are great because they dry quickly and are pretty inexpensive – I prefer Tsukineko Memento dye inks. Pigment inks take longer to dry, but will stand the test of time if you are working on archival projects. I find that the pigment inks are usually a bit more crisp when working with detailed stamps – Versafine by Tsukineko is a great option.

Cardstock: I consider this a “tool” because it really does make a difference when you are selecting a type of cardstock to work with. Smooth vs. textured will make a big difference. And if you plan to use markers or watercolors with your stamps you need something with enough weight so it doesn’t start curling up (specialized watercolor paper works the best). I buy Neenah brand cardstock by the ream, and usually stick with the “Environment” line because they have the most recycled content in their stock. I also recommend having a good selection of patterned papers on hand. Layering the patterns with your stamped images really gives add the perfect amount of dimension to many projects.

Paper Trimmer: I have had the same two Fiskars trimmers for about 10 years and they are great. I actually prefer the rotary trimmer (orange) because the cuts don’t leave indents on the back side of the paper like the purple blade trimmer does. I started with a small 8″ trimmer and would not recommend getting one of those since so many of the great patterned papers that you will want to use are usually 12″.

Detail Scissors: I started with one pair of detail scissors and kept trying to find the perfect pair. I would say overall I use the nonstick Cutterbee Scissors the most (black and yellow). All the others are great but serve somewhat specialized purposes.

Adhesives: This is another category where I have become a collector. I think you could get away with two types though – a tape runner (or double-sided tape) and glue dots on the roll. The tape runner is my go-to for almost everything. I even use them to get in small places when I have detailed die cuts. The glue dots are extra sticky (great for buttons) and also give a hint of dimension if you don’t want to keep the dimensional foam dots on hand.

Markers: I have two types of markers in mind that should be on the “nice-to-have” list. Copic markers are awesome for shading and coloring stamped images. They are pricey and you have to have a few of each shade to get the best effect though. I am new to the Stampin’ Up! markers, but I am hooked on these as well. You can use them to color images which is great, but I like them to use as ink on stamps. You just use the marker to ink up the rubber stamp (as many colors as you like), huff on it a bit to moisten the ink, then stamp on your card stock.

Paper Punches or Die Cuts: Punches and die cuts add a lot of great shapes and cutouts to your projects, but they can quickly start to get expensive and take up space. So start with the basics – like a heart punch for Valentine’s cards or a label shape die that you can use over and over again.

Scor- Pal: I resisted getting one of these for a long time. I got along fine with just a bone folder, but once I had the Scor-Pal it changed everything. The score lines are so crisp and even, adding a professional finish. Right now I have my eye on the Martha Stewart score board, because it has more scoring lines at even intervals.

Heat Gun & Embossing Powders: I have had my trusty heat gun the entire time I’ve been stamping and it does a great job, albeit a noisy one. This tool is the only way you’re going to get good results with embossing powder on detailed images. And while I do not emboss most of my projects, there are just sometimes when you need that extra special touch. I also use the heat tool for speeding up drying time on distress inks, and to heat-set stamped images when I want to color them in with markers.

And a bonus essential for rubber stampers!

Embellishments: I guess these are more of a supply than a tool, but it’s the most fun thing on the list. You can use anything you have on hand to add to your rubber stamp projects. I like ribbons, buttons, twine, fabric scraps, die cut felt flowers, glitter, sparkle sprays, washi tapes…the sky is the limit here.

Let me know what you think. Do you already have the essentials?  Did I miss something on this list?